The News currently at Arumdale:
**** FOUR STARS! ~ ARUMDALE St Andrew ’14!
There has been a significant recognition in regard to the, now well known, ARUMDALE St Andrew…
There is, in a popular, and internationally recognised wine-guide, the evaluation of this cool-climate product of the vine. It was none other than the expertise so modestly held in the form of Fiona McDonald, who Assessed the St Andrew as nothing short of its FOUR STARS.
A BIG thank-you to her!
Arumdale, the first producer of Shiraz in the this seriously privileged wine producing area, has now become very well known for its abyssal depth of flavour, and also the long smooth-velvet finish on its wines, both whites and reds.
Fiona McDonald, celebrated wine judge at, amongst others The Decanter World Wine Awards
South African wine journalist Fiona McDonald has spent the past 20 years involved with the country’s wine industry, after initially finding her way there ‘by accident’.
Fiona is a trained news journalist who began her wine journalism career when she helped a friend organise a wine show, which resulted in her writing a weekly wine column. She was then headhunted by WINE magazine in Cape Town. Whilst continuing as a freelance writer, she edits Cheers magazine, as well as contributing to a number of other publications. In addition to serving as a judge at a number of international wine competitions, she is also a member of the Platter Guide tasting panel and writing team.
For someone that carries a massively recognised wine background, ARUMDALE simply loves her straightforward, and modest approach to her profession.
From an interview with Decanter, we want to admire her humility, ability to listen, her admiration of Dave Hughes, and her qualities she seeks in wine!
See below quotes from the Decanter interview:
What’s the most valuable lesson you’ve learned while working in the wine industry?
Humility. Assess each wine on its merits, and think before you pronounce when tasting. You can never know it all – but sadly there are many who think they do! Also, every wine producer has a unique story to tell.
What single piece of advice do you have for people just starting out in wine?
Listen rather than speak. By doing so you stand to absorb as much knowledge as you can from as many sources as possible and never stop learning from those who know more. And never stop tasting
Who has been your biggest inspiration during your wine career?
Probably my good friend Dave Hughes – he’s forgotten more about wine than I will ever know, has travelled the world, and rubbed shoulders with the greats. Yet he remains the most down-to-earth, humble and intrinsically good person I know. Ego doesn’t come into wine for him, and he’s incredibly generous with knowledge and insight.
When judging, what are you looking for in great wine?
For it to be more than the sum of its parts, with all the elements in the right place: balance, elegance, fruit, terroir expression and potential – but also having that indefinable something extra which elevates it to a different realm.